Moms: Let’s Stop Judging One Another!

Moms, let’s talk! We need to once and for all agree to stop judging one another. It is hard enough being a mom, we don’t need to also deal with the sneers and grumbles of other moms judging us. We are all doing our best and we need to support each other. I’ll admit that…

Motherhood is…

After almost a year of postpartum motherhood, I’ve realized a few things about this journey that I never knew until I was living in it. I honestly never wanted to be a mother. The moment I discovered where children came from, I said nah, not for me! I wasn’t born thinking my life’s destiny was…

This Too Shall Pass

Times are tough. We are all suffering to varying degrees physically, mentally, emotionally, all of the above. The hardest thing about all of it is the uncertainty. I’m sure many of us wake up each morning or go to bed at night with this one thought lingering in our minds: when will this pandemic end?…

Am I Allowed to Grieve Yet?

I’m feeling this quarantine hard today. It’s like someone I love died a few months ago, and I’m just now grieving. I can’t stop crying. I want to curl up in the fetal position and sob. Most days I feel normal or I’m really good at faking that I’m okay. I even have myself convinced…

Self Care for Mamas

Are you a new mom? Are you struggling to find time to take care of yourself let alone eat and shower when you need to? I know I am. I can barely keep up with eating enough to sustain myself while breastfeeding my son and now all my clothes are hanging off of me. Everyone…

Sifting Through Too Much Parenting Advice

When you become a parent for the first time, you get very used to receiving unsolicited advice. Everyone has their theories on the best parenting. In some ways there’s no right way to parent, but there are definitely some better ways. Unfortunately, no one can agree on what is the best way. I am very…

Postpartum Denial: Accepting You’re Struggling and It’s Okay

When we learned about Postpartum Depression and Anxiety at the Mom Expo last summer, I thought to myself, not me! I convinced myself that I was immune to this scary side effect of giving birth. About 50 to 75% of women experience the baby blues for the first six weeks after birth, 15% of those…

Being a Mom is the Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had

In 2013, my sister and I worked on a cattle ranch in the Australian Outback. Our employers were cruel, verbally abusive, and unforgiving. I felt like Cinderella. We scrubbed floors, dusted rafters, and shoveled cow shit. Everything we did was scrutinized and we were oftentimes told to redo jobs that weren’t up to their standards….

My Birth Story

Talk to any mom when you’re pregnant and they’ll want to share their birth story with you. As a woman close to her due date, these stories can really terrify you. Most women who share their stories had more extreme experiences and the women with easy labors tend to not share. Either way you have…

You Can’t Plan Your Due Date

As you probably can tell from previous posts, I’m a planner. I like to have control over outcomes and to plan everything out meticulously. I’m definitely type A. So, when the OBGYN tells me your due date is Nov. 1st, I plan on it. I set all my plans around this date to make sure…

Pregnancy Brain is Legit

Moms and moms-to-be know exactly what I mean when I say pregnancy brain. It affects everyone differently, but don’t let anyone question whether it is real. I used to be super sharp. I could remember dates, names, and facts without calendars or notes. Now my brain is completely unreliable due to pregnancy brain. This is…

Help! I Don’t Know How to Slow Down!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been the energizer bunny. I am always busy and always running from one thing to the next. I thrive on adrenaline. Downtime doesn’t come often enough for me and half the time I plan on relaxing, I find chores or other activities to fill that free time instead. This…

The Calm Before the Storm

I have 5.5 weeks to go if little man stays in there until his due date. I’m relatively calm at the moment. Part of me feels that feeling you get at the end of the school year right before the finals. You know this huge test is coming, but that as soon as you finish…

Thoughts of a Soon-to-Be Mother

Somehow I blinked and I’m 33 weeks pregnant. This sure has flown by. I have been so busy, I’ve had no time to write. Many many thoughts have crossed my mind that I wanted to write about, but I honestly haven’t made it my priority. As many women know, pregnancy is a whirlwind and before…

Abandoning Me to Become Mom

Lately, I’ve been grappling with the idea that in three short months, when I give birth I will no longer be just Melissa; I will also be Mom. It has taken me many years, travels, therapists to truly start loving Melissa and even now I’m not always sure of myself. So, accepting this other name…

Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Pregnant Woman

I’m getting sort of tired of the liberties people take with their commentary towards me while I’m a pregnant. I’m sure I’m not the only pregnant woman feeling this way either. So here you go: 1. Wow you look huge! 2. Are you sure you’re not having twins? 3. Did they get your due date…

Finding My Mom Tribe

I’ve had many tribes throughout my adult life. Women need tribes to feel comfort, love, a safe place to bitch and moan over wine, and someone to capture your dumbest moments on camera. Some women maintain the exact same tribe their whole lives if they never move away from home. Others, like me, have different…

Eating Healthy for Two

When you’re pregnant you constantly hear that old adage, well you’re eating for two right before someone hands you another helping or second slice of cake. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of it! This isn’t your mom’s or your grandma’s pregnancy. Times and studies have changed to reveal that the…

Hello Baby, It’s Me Mama! Are You in There?

I have not written a word for a while. Believe me I wanted to, but how many times can you complain about nausea or exhaustion, before it is just redundant. I’ve now securely entered my Second Trimester. On Friday, I’ll officially be 16 weeks. I feel a lot better these days, no nausea and my…

Home Buying Feels so much like Online Dating!

Home buying is a tough and emotionally exhausting process. I thought it would feel exciting like those shows on HGTV where you get to peruse homes and choose one from your top three at the end. It’s not! This process is excruciating! My husband and I have looked at 19 homes in 2 weeks and…

That First Ultrasound

Words can’t describe how happy we felt to see our baby for the first time this weekend! For six weeks now we’ve known a baby was growing inside of me, but it didn’t feel real. I felt it every time I got nauseous or exhausted, but was I really growing a baby inside my uterus?…

Goodbye Sleep, See You in Ten Years!

I’ve always had a fickle relationship with sleep since I was 18 years old. I have a chronic bladder condition that wakes me in the night to pee even if I am on the heaviest sleeping drugs. It would ebb and flow though. Some nights depending on stress level and what I ate that day…

I’m Pregnant and Scared to Death!

I have faced many fears in my 31 years of life. I’ve traveled to unsafe countries, backpacked alone across the globe, tackled public speaking, and jumped out of a helicopter over the Swiss Alps. Those were a cinch! Now I’m embarking on a new terrifying adventure: Pregnancy!! I am not scared one bit about being…

On a Quest to Heal Myself

Towards the end of 2018, I set out to find answers and to seek help. I was finally done with suffering and just accepting it as my reality. I wanted to feel happy and healthy again or in some cases for the first time. Healing isn’t easy though even when you finally have those answers…

Setting Goals for the New Year

I’m back! I, unfortunately, lost track of my goals this autumn as life got busier and more stressful. I was doing great keeping up with making a new recipe every Sunday and blogging about it until about mid-November. At that point, the bills were piling up and my husband still didn’t have a job. He…

#TBT: Travel Flashback Part 6: Culture, Tradition, and Ceremony in Bali

Balinese people hold strongly to their traditions. If someone dies and they must have a cremation, everyone in the community closes their business for however many days they need and they all attend the cremation. Their strong sense of community trumps their need to make money. This is something I love about the Balinese people….

Feeling So Thankful for My Family this Holiday Season!

I know I’m a week late on this post, but time just seems to fly by and I barely get a chance to sit down and write anymore. Last week we flew home for a very quick four day visit to see my family back east for Thanksgiving. I normally don’t fly all the way…

Getting Creative with Spaghetti Squash!

My husband and I discovered the exciting world of cooking with spaghetti squash last spring and we still can’t get enough. You can do so much with spaghetti squash, it’s truly a miracle squash! The best part is you can fill the squash with so many different dishes. Here are the three I’ve tried, but…

Keep it Simple and Still Eat Healthy!

Now that I’m getting the hang of cooking, I’m started to learn how to improvise recipes on my own. Sure these recipes I’ve been making are delicious, but they require a lot of ingredients, a lot of prep time and a lot of money. This isn’t going to be easy to keep up when we…

Making Soup with Friends

I’m getting in the soup making mood. I love this time of year when you get to put on sweaters and scarves and make soup. Despite the freakishly warm weather we are having for mid October, cough cough global warming cough, I’m still feeling in the spirit to make warm cozy recipes like this delicious…

Reflections on Life at Age 31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday and I woke up next to my husband in a very comfortable bed in the Luxor hotel in Vegas. Although slightly hungover from having 2.5 drinks (I know right!), I felt good. I checked my emails and found a letter I wrote to myself in August 2013 sent through futureme.org…

#TBT Travel Flashback Part 3: In Love with Pai

I know I’ve probably said this about numerous towns along my travels, but Pai stands out as one of my favorite places in the world. We arrived in the late afternoon, after a long winding drive from Chiang Mai. The town’s main road buzzed with motorbikes and backpackers, yet it maintained a silent calm only…

Hosting a Brunch? Make quiche!

Over the weekend, we hosted an engagement brunch at our house for some very close friends. It was a potluck, which is the best way to host a party and not take on too much work. Brunch is my favorite meal of all time and this one was a success. Growing up my dad always…

I Love Fall and Fall Foods!

Ever since I was a child, my favorite season has always been Fall! Don’t get me wrong, Summer is a blast, but there’s something about Fall that gives me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It’s crisp, colorful, cozy, and delicious! September and October are the best months. The heat starts to fade into crisp mornings…

Crockpot Chili is Delicious!

This Sunday’s new recipe was a mix of several recipes I found on Pinterest. I found a recipe for a skillet chili with cornbread on top and loved the cornbread idea. Then I found a healthy turkey chili with sweet potato and decided to make the recipe with cornbread, but instead of making it in…

My Next Adventure: Cooking!

It’s taken me several months to come back to this blog. In some ways it just symbolizes this part of my life that is over now. I used to think that a life of travel was all I needed to be happy. I wanted to abandon the 9-5 and be an adventurer for life. I…

Having Gratitude Even When Times are Tough…

It is downright difficult to keep your head up when it seems like the world keeps kicking you when you are down. Sometimes we just go through tough times or tough years and it is hard to see beyond our troubles. One thing I always try to remind myself to do, even when I feel…

How to Beat the Unemployment/Post Travel Blues!

I’ll never regret quitting a job to travel, but it’s returning afterwards that is always super tough. It’s easy to get depressed when you go from traveling and seeing and doing new and exciting things every day to sitting at home applying to jobs and being broke. I’ve been in this situation twice and it…

Myths, Facts, and Tips for Backpacking Central and South America

Now that we have completed our 7 month trip from Argentina to Guatemala, I can speak with some authority on how to best prepare for a trip like this. There’s things we wish we knew beforehand and things that shocked us as well as trucks we learned along the way that I believe would be…

Lago Atitlan has Something for Everyone

Lake Atitlan is the biggest lake in Guatemala at 50.2 sq mi. The lake was formed 84,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption that filled in with rain water. Atitlan means “at the water” in Nahuatl language. Three volcanoes now stand at its south end and are all active, named Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman….

Celebrating Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala

Guatemala has been a destination for Americans for at least ten years now, so it was no surprise that Antigua was swarming with them. The colorful colonial town, an hour outside Guatemala City, provides tourists with that authentic Guatemalan feel. The stone buildings are crumbling with age and the cathedrals overpower the plazas with bright…

Don’t Skip Honduras

Throughout our travels in Central America, we have met a lot of backpackers who told us that they skipped Honduras or only visited the Bay Islands. As we headed north towards Honduras, we wondered why everyone was skipping around such a diverse country. Sometimes they even chose visiting El Salvador over Honduras. Having now visited…

Visit Roatan! Don’t just Cruise in, Stay Over!

Roatan Island, off of Honduras, has long been a cruise ship destination. As we pulled in on the local ferry from La Ceiba, Honduras the boat dwarfed in comparison to the Holland-America and Carnival Freedom Cruise ships in port. Tourists disembark from their floating hotels to enjoy less than 12 hours on the island. They…

Nicaragua: The Land of Volcanoes, Lakes, and Beaches Oh My!

There’s something really special about Nicaragua. I had no idea that this country was already on so many people’s radars. You barely hear about it, but it truly is a gem. It has some of the best surfing beaches in the world in warm pacific oceans, steep lively volcanoes to climb or sneak up on…